How To Start a Kitchen Herb Garden: From Planting To Harvest

How To Start a Kitchen Herb Garden: From Planting To Harvest

Are you curious about how to start a kitchen herb garden in your home? There are several things to consider when growing herbs inside, ranging from sun exposure and selecting the right soil to harvesting your herbs correctly. Take a look at the tips below to start creating a beautiful herb garden in your home that will allow you to enjoy fresh farm-to-table ingredients for years to come.

Choose a Location

Herbs prefer six to eight hours of direct sunlight, so you will want to find a spot in your kitchen that receives ample sun. Most people find that a south-facing window has the best exposure. If you cannot find a spot with enough light, select a few herbs that are suitable for partial sun. You can also use a grow light if you do not have adequate natural lighting.

Sunlight is not the only thing to take into consideration when choosing a location, though. Herbs must be kept between 65 and 70 degrees, which is ideal for most homes. Before planting your herbs near a window, hang a thermometer there for a few days. You want to make sure the area you select is the ideal temperature.

Select Your Herbs

You can start growing herbs from seed or buy some seedlings at your local nursery. Keep in mind that the herbs you use the most will be the ones that work best in your kitchen garden. There is no use growing herbs that you do not like the taste of or do not commonly use in recipes.

Several herbs are easy to grow inside, but you should limit yourself to three to keep things simple. The best herbs to grow indoors include basil, parsley, rosemary and oregano. If you decide to plant several plants in one container, be sure that their watering needs are the same to avoid inconsistent growth.

Pick Your Container

The container you choose should have drainage holes and a saucer. If you use a sealed pot, place rocks at the bottom of the container and mix some vermiculite in the soil. This will increase the drainage in your sealed pot. Remember that the size of your container and how closely you pack your plants inside will influence the size of your herbs. Using a small pot or grouping many plants close together will limit root space and lead to smaller plants.

Use the Right Soil

An indoor kitchen herb garden needs a good potting mixture. The label should tell you whether or not it can be used for indoor garden plants. A mixture is often lighter and has an aerator — like perlite — already added to it. If you cannot find a potting mix, adapt the soil to work or make your own potting soil for indoor plants.

Whatever you do, do not use the dirt from your outside garden. While it may seem like a good idea, the soil in your garden is too compact for indoor growing. It will not hold onto water for as long, which can lead to insufficient root growth. Additionally, you may bring in insects and parasites found outside.

Water Regularly

Some herbs — such as thyme, sage and rosemary — are more drought-tolerant, and it is okay if the soil dries out slightly between watering. Other plants like basil and mint prefer to be kept damp at all times. However, none of them should have constantly soggy soil. You will want to aim for damp to semi-dry soil.

Assess the moisture level before watering by sticking your finger an inch or two into the soil. Water the soil once it begins to feel more dry than wet. Overwatering is more likely to kill the herbs than underwatering. Additionally, it is better to water the herbs less frequently and more thoroughly rather than watering them more frequently.

Harvest Your Herbs Correctly

Do not harvest your plants until they have matured for the first time. Cut off the top 2 to 3 inches of each sprig, leaving only the green leaves. Make sure that one third grows back before you harvest again. It is also a good idea to research each herb you plan to grow and learn about its specific pruning needs. Herbs grow best when they are pruned properly, so you will want to make sure that you follow the care instructions to get the most out of your plants.

Starting a kitchen herb garden is the perfect opportunity for you and your family to experience fresh, farm-to-table ingredients. Are you on the hunt for a new home where you can build a garden and show off your green thumb? Explore and compare Perry Homes’ move-in ready properties to find your dream home today!

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How To Start a Kitchen Herb Garden: From Planting To Harvest

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